Do you remember your first smartphone?
Remember the feeling of excitement opening the box and peeling back the plastic screen protector to reveal the pristine glass and metal?
What did you do next? You turned it on and walked through a few steps until up popped the home screen. What was on it? Apps, right? Phone, mail, calendar, text, etc. Those were the preconfigured default settings that come with every phone.
Guess what? Your mind is the same way. In all of its complexity, your mind comes biologically pre-wired with its DEFAULT SETTINGS. These Default Settings form your unique temperament.
Your temperament holds the essential, enduring characteristics of your very nature. This is why you wake up essentially the same person every day. Think of how chaotic life would be if when you went to bed, you had no idea who you would wake up to be in the morning? In this way, our enduring temperament is a great gift.
Yet there’s a catch. Let’s go back to your smartphone.
The Default Settings on your phone are just the starting point. I know that if I were to open up your phone right now, I would find dozens, if not hundreds, of non-native apps like social media, banking, credit cards, dating, health and fitness, games, etc. That is because you adapted your phone to help make your life run smoother. Remember when we used to drive to the bank to deposit a check? Now, there’s an app for that.
Your mind is the same way. Your temperament is just a starting point, not the end of the story.
The study of the mind goes back to at least 550 BC when Greek philosopher Thales coined the term psyche. Modern psychology, with the aid of the scientific method, has devised ways to demystify human behavior into ways of helping us understand why we do what we do. We can now take personality assessments to understand ourselves better. We can learn about our adult attachment styles and how it impacts our romantic relationships. We can go to therapy to delve into our unconscious motivations. These and hundreds of other explorations of the mind take us far beyond our starting point, our Default Settings as I call them, into higher and higher realms of self-awareness and emotional intelligence to the ultimate goal to create a life of meaning, purpose, and authentic happiness.
Click HERE to learn more about the Wellview services available to you. We can’t wait to work with you!
– REB BUXTON, Psychotherapist